Jammu: At least 36 people were killed and 19 injured after a bus carrying them skidded off the road and rolled down into a 300-foot gorge in Jammu and Kashmir's Doda district on Wednesday, officials said. Official sources said the passenger bus went out of the driver’s control at Asser in Doda district and dropped into a deep gorge.
The bus bearing registration number JK02CN-6555 was reportedly carrying around 40 passengers, the officials said, adding that it skidded off the road near Trungal-Assar on the Batote-Kishtwar national highway and fell 300 feet downhill.A rescue operation has been launched and some bodies have been retrieved, they said.
"Saddened to share the update from DC #Doda Sh Harvinder Singh from the spot of the accident. Unfortunately 36 persons have died and 19 injured, out of whom 6 injured are serious. The injured are being shifted to GMC Doda and GMC #Jammu as per requirement. All possible help being provided. Sincere condolences to the bereaved families," Union minister Jitendra Singh, who is the member of Parliament from Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag, said.
PM announces Rs 2 lakh ex gratia
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed grief over the incident.
"The bus accident in Doda, Jammu and Kashmir is distressing. My condolences to the families who have lost their near and dear ones. I pray that the injured recover at the earliest," Modi said on X.
He announced that an ex-gratia amount of Rs 2 lakh each would be given to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each would be given to the injured from the from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF).
"Deeply anguished to learn about the loss of precious lives due to a tragic bus accident at Doda, Jammu and Kashmir. The local administration is conducting the rescue operation in the gorge where the bus had the accident. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured," Shah said on X.
"Extremely pained by the loss of lives in a tragic bus accident in Assar, Doda. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved families and wishing for a speedy recovery of those injured in the accident. Directed Div Com and Dist Admin to provide all necessary assistance to affected persons," Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said on the microblogging website.
Due to the fall from a considerable height, the bus has got badly damaged, sources said.
Police and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel, besides locals, are involved in the rescue operation, they said, adding that some of the injured passengers have been shifted to hospitals.
(with PTI inputs)